Utah juice bar charges liberals $1 more

SALT LAKE CITY — A juice bar that charges liberals $1 more than conservatives says those on the political left are happy to oblige in the Utah oil town of Vernal – “all three of them,” the owner jokes.

But wait. Do conservatives favor almond milk with blended avocado?

Yes, says George Burnett, a conservative who happens to be a fitness nut and a fan of healthy food. Weeks after he opened the I Love Drilling Smoothie &Juice Bar, he’s listing one price for conservatives and $1 more for liberals, whom he blames for many of the country’s problems.

“At my prices, it’s still a good deal. But those who believe in big government and reckless spending cost all of us. So I should charge them more,” Burnett said Wednesday.

Skeptics on the shop’s Facebook page point out that Vernal, population around 9,000, has few liberals, so Burnett has little to lose by charging them more, winning the loyalty of roughnecks and “raking in the dough.” The shop was devoid Wednesday of any liberal customers who could offer a rebuttal. Burnett and a son acknowledged they were stripping comments by liberals from their shop’s Facebook page.

“Isn’t this a form of discrimination — what if they charged Asians or Indians more?” Stephen Borton, one of Vernal’s few Democrats, told The Associated Press. “This is dinosaur land. We get people from all over the world, and this is the wrong kind of publicity.”

The nearby Dinosaur National Monument draws thousands of tourists.

Burnett notes he doesn’t skimp on fresh ingredients but is restrained from trying to charge New York-style prices. He charges $5 for a 16-ounce juice smoothie — $6 for liberals.

Burnett says he doesn’t interrogate customers, but if they offer that they’re liberal, he charges more. Recently, a couple stopped by — he was conservative, she was liberal — and the husband “paid conservative for himself and liberal for her,” he said.

Burnett can’t really tell a liberal by appearance “unless they drive up with out-of-state plates in a Subaru,” he said. “I know it because they flip me off.”

Vernal is close to the Colorado border and a point of entry for mountain bikers seeking Utah’s canyon solitude.

One customer, fitness coach Corey Peterson, says the shop’s liberal surcharge is a “fantastic” idea.

“I think the liberals are the cause of a lot of this country’s problems and they need to pay more,” Corey said while sipping a green concoction of almond milk, avocado, spinach, cucumbers, kamut grass, Greek yogurt and honey-like agave.

Burnett said he was putting aside liberal surcharges for conservative causes. This month he’s donating it to the Heritage Foundation.

More in Local News

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Woman struck, injured while crossing Highway 99 in Edmonds

The driver stopped after hitting the woman, who was dressed in dark clothes, at about 7:10 a.m.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

He drank nearly a gallon of vodka, then grabbed a cop’s gun

He got pummeled for that. Police had been trying to keep him on a gurney for an ambulance ride.

Police seek witnesses to hit-and-run

An 88-year-old woman was hurt when a Prius turned right at an intersection and struck her walker.

Lake Stevens man killed in crash near Highway 92 identified

Kristofor Nordgren, of Lake Stevens, was driving his Subaru when it hit a truck and a Ford Focus.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

Most Read